Black Businesses Need Proper Planning and Marketing

James Clingman | 6/13/2012, 12:52 p.m.

Advertise your business in the proper medium, and please use Black-owned media to do so, as well as other means of getting the word out about your business. In other words, do something that will benefit some other Black businessperson. Don't be afraid of marketing and please don't deny the opportunity for a Black marketing professional to write your marketing plan and to execute a portion of that plan, if the need arises.

Research! Research! Research! before you jump into business. Just because you are a great cook does not mean you can run a restaurant. Spend some of your money researching your market to determine the need for your product or service, as well as what your competition is doing.

You know the saying: "Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die." This is a case of many people wanting to be entrepreneurs, but few are willing to do what it takes to be successful.

Let's create and maintain strong and thriving Black businesses. Let's use one another's strengths and expertise to make our businesses grow. Let's work together, cooperatively, to make a better future for our children, teaching them how to make jobs rather than take jobs. We can only do that through business development -- and we can only develop viable businesses by learning more about entrepreneurship.

Recognize and understand the rules of the entrepreneurial game, and learn to play them well. Money follows good planning and good management - no matter what color you are.

Jim Clingman, founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce, is the nation's most prolific writer on economic empowerment for Black people. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati and can be reached through his Web site, blackonomics.com.